“There won’t be generations anymore,” says Aubrey de Grey of tomorrow’s world where anti-aging treatments will give us at least 30 extra years of life. You’ll be able to keep up with your granddaughter on the ski slopes, he told his host at the Lift 2010 conference in Geneva Thursday 6 May. And for de Grey, the future is close: we can expect to see such treatments within our lifetimes, he believes. (H/T Fightaging)
De Grey is a biomedical gerontologist who is the chief science officer for the Sens Foundation in Cambridge, England. The foundation is a non-profit charity that focuses on combating diseases of old age. The questions people invariably ask de Gray focus on such mundane matters as where all these extra people will live, how pension plans will pay for them and what they’ll do with their time, but he says the questions are not the right ones. We should balance out these against the problems caused right now by “100,000 people a day getting very sick and staying that way a long time and then dying.”
the affiliated researchers have now advanced to work with DNA epitope vaccines, which have features that are highly desirable for an early Aß immunotherapy strategy. Their efficacy against a wide range of pathogen, autoimmune, and tumor antigens has been demonstrated in preclinical models, and the antigens are produced endogenously, so that antigen processing can occur directly in target transfected cells. Moreover, ongoing expression of the antigen leads to the maintenance of an active immunological response, potentially removing much of the need for repeated dosing that clearly poses a challenge to monoclonal antibody vaccines and even conventional active vaccination.
Ultimately, we believe that the further refinement of our AD DNA epitope vaccines, possibly combined with a prime boost regime, will facilitate translation to human clinical trials in either very early AD, or preferably in preclinical stage individuals identified by validated AD biomarkers
Old age kills about two-thirds of the people who die every day in the world, he notes, and in the developed world, that rises to about 90 percent. The figures need to be improved, not just for reasons of health and happiness, but “there is a financial incentive, $200 billion a year to provide care for people, and that’s just in the US.
“We’re within striking distance – I think it will happen within the lifetime of the people in this room.” He has dubbed the process “robust human rejuvenation” with an initial treatment that should give 30 years of extra life but it must go further. “Longevity escape velocity” is the rate at which these therapies will be improved in order to stay one step ahead of the problem, allowing a second, third, or perhaps further treatments that will continue to extend that initial 30 years.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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